My Air Bag Install - 95 Caprice - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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My Air Bag Install - 95 Caprice

I've been wanting to do air ride on my car since I got it and I had a hard time finding good information on doing it. I ended up jumping right into it when my wife, mother, and my friend hooked me up with the necessary equipment to do the install.

Here is my experience.

The "stuff" I used is:
4 Airlift D2500 Air Bags
Airlift Autopilot V2 Management 1/4" Kit
Air Bag Cups from www.yourcustomcar.com
Front Shock Relocation Kit from www.airbag-depot.com
Monroe SS Shocks front and back
3CFab Extended Rear Control Arms

Most of the Goods


The first thing I did was get the bag cups powder coated and mounted to the bags.


The wire harness for the air management was run next.
This was pretty easy. Most of the wiring was able to be secured to the body using existing wire holding pieces from the factory.
I ran it on the passenger side, since the battery is on that side as well.

Rear seats were removed. Door sill trim, front and back were removed.




There's a plastic wire valley under the carpet that allows the wire to be run front to back neatly.



There's metal tabs behind the rear seat that were folded down to hold the wires in place there.


To get the wires into the engine bay, I drilled a hole under the passenger dash, below the wire harness there, and protected with a rubber grommet.

Here's the black and red wire coming in under the existing wire harness.


The included inline fuse and connectors were soldered on and connected to the correct terminals on the battery. Another inline fuse was connected to the signal wire and connected to the PCM fuse in the fuse box using a little tab included in the kit.


The controller for the V2 management was setup in the ash tray and the wire was routed to the main harness.




I used some plywood to make a setup for the air management and test fit it in the trunk.


Next the air tank was powder coated and water trap, air line fitting, and air hose connector were added.


Next, the shock relocation brackets were welded in.
This took a while because the fuel lines are run very close to where they were mounted, so care was taken to reduce the heat in that area.
Driver side

Last edited by Reece616; 08-19-2015 at 07:24 PM.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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Passenger Side




Painted



The next part was the worst.
Since I was going to have the front end apart, I figured I should replace the 20 year old bushing and ball joints.
My crappy front shocks disassembled as I tried to remove them.


Ball joints disconnected and spring is out. I left the tie rods connected to the knuckle and pushed it out of the way.


Control arms out. The lower was fairly simple, the upper was a pain, mainly because of the bolts that hold the cross shaft to the frame.


The bushings on the control arms are a HUGE PITA! I would not do these again if I needed to. Either a shop or new arms altogether.
Here's a couple of the removed bushing sleeves.


After disassembling the control arms they were sand blasted for powder coating.
Before and After


With everything out of the way, the frame needed to be trimmed a bit for clearance of the air bags. The cut areas were painted later to help prevent corrosion.


The air lines were routed to the front through the frame.
Luckily, on the driver side there was a holder with an open space that the airline fit inside perfectly.


Comparison of old front spring and front air bag


Lower control arm mounted and air bag installed.


After both sides were taken care of, I moved onto the rear end. Apparently I didn't take any pics of the upper control arms on.
I ended up replacing the bolts that hold the upper control arms on, but since they're not produced any more, we used grade 8 hardware and tacked it to the frame to prevent it from spinning.
[/FONT]

Last edited by Reece616; 08-19-2015 at 07:25 PM.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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Front shock mounted to completed front end.


I had removed the lower control arms, rear shocks, and removed one upper control arm at a time in order to remove the rear end housing bushings.
Removed sleeves


New Upper control arms with new Monroe shocks


The rear air bag was mounted, which was one of the hardest parts of the build. There's not much room up on top of the upper spring mount to get a wrench in there and tighten. I managed to do it with my 3/8" ratchet.
A hole was drilled through the upper spring perch for the air line and everything was secured.


After the rear bags were mounted and the airline was ran, I needed to work on the trunk setup.
I laid out everything the way I wanted


Soldered a connector on the end of the air compressor wires


Wrapped the board in black vinyl


Attached all the parts to the board


Drilled holes in the trunk floor for the bulkhead unions for the air lines


Connected air lines to the bulkheads underneath the car.
I was careful to avoid the fuel lines when drilling.


The trunk setup in and all hooked up.
Not finalized, but working. I still need to route the water trap drain and the tank fill/drain.
Also, I designed a custom logo and had it cut from vinyl for the tank!


Picture right after I had it done, tools still in the driveway.


A couple other pics completed


Last edited by Reece616; 08-21-2015 at 06:31 AM.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 11:30 AM
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AWESOME write up sir.... salute

when are you going to test drive it and see how it handles?
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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I've driven it quite a bit so far.

At first the ride was terrible. I did some investigating and found that the lower cups in the rear weren't sitting on the axle properly and made the ride super bouncy.
Once I got that situated, the ride was amazingly better.
It rides basically like stock now.

Thanks!

I'll try to answer any questions anyone has.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 03:15 PM
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how much air is in them when driving? got any pics with no air ver 90psi?

96 impala ss
about to be super charged!
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IWantATurbo View Post
how much air is in them when driving? got any pics with no air ver 90psi?
Usually it's around 80-90 in the front, 40-30 in the rear for driving.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 03:53 PM
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is it at ride height in the pics?

96 impala ss
about to be super charged!
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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I think the last pic it was
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016, 01:06 AM
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Glad to see good info like this still making it to the forum



One NaSSty Black a.s.s car
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